Seniors share goals to complete before graduating

By Jane Bowden and Viktoria Ristanovic
Managing Editor and Features Editor

For seniors at the College, this year brings a lot of lasts. The last time they’ll eat at Eickhoff Dining Hall, study into the early-morning hours at the library and organize campus events with their favorite clubs — their time at the College is winding down and there’s not much time left to do things as a student.

As graduation creeps up, Lions create their college bucket list (Flickr). 

To keep themselves motivated for the year, many seniors choose to create a bucket list of activities they want to complete before they graduate in the spring.

“(My goal is to) win a national title and raise my GPA,” said Danny Ortega, computer science major. 

For many senior Lions, their bucket list consists of traveling the world in order to learn more about different cultures.

“I definitely want to somehow sit on the balls outside of art building and go to Croatia yacht week right after graduation and going into the real world,” said Bianca Nicolini, a business management major. 

“It’s always been a dream of mine to live out the summer of everyone’s dreams and travel the world,” Nicolini continued. “I think it’s important to travel as much as you can while you’re young. The older you get, the harder it will be to see the things you want to see out there in the world because you will continually get more and more responsibilities.” 

Nicolini added that as time goes on, it’s important for seniors to take advantage of their youth by traveling and seeing what the world has to offer.

“You’ll get really roped in at work or you are trying to buy a house or you realize you need a car or you are starting a family. This stuff creeps up on people and they don’t even know it until they’re in it,” Nicolini said. “I don’t want to live my life asking myself: how would my life be different if I did all my traveling right out of college and satisfy my curiosity about the world while I’m still young and healthy?” 

Public health major Samantha Biablocki stated that she wishes to “go on the annual NOLA trip with all of my friends.”

There has been a certain trend amongst the seniors in their bucket lists. From eating one last meal at Eickhoff to going on trips with friends before jumping into their post-grad lives.

“Find a husband….kidding!” said Danielle LaBruno, an elementary education and history dual major. “But definitely want to jump in the fountain before I graduate.”

“My goal for senior year is to eat at the dining hall one last time and T-Dubs too,” stated special education and psychology major Ashley Tarabocchia. 

Jackie Hankard, a communication studies major, said that she wants to “eat one last meal in Eick.” 

Hankard also advised that underclassmen should be as involved as they can while they’re at the College, as senior year will soon sneak up.

“I will definitely miss the things TCNJ has offered to me as a student during my college career,” Hankard said. “While I utilized everything offered as much as I could, I would always tell others and new students to take advantage of everything this college offers them.” 

“Go to events, go to the career fairs, join a club, join a Greek organization, start a club if you want to,” Hankard continued. “Don’t isolate yourself, and push passed your comfort zones, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. You don’t want to look back and think, ‘wow I wish I just put myself out there a little more’ or ‘I wish my shyness didn’t prevent me from joining all the things I wanted to join.’”

For other Lions, their pre-graduation goals include focusing on their academics and showing their professors how much they helped them over the past four years.

“(My senior year goal is) to continue my academic success while staying in shape and improving my friendships,” said Ryan Maffia, a civil engineering major. 

For Thomas Schulze, a business management major, he wants his senior year to be a balance of fun and getting work done.

“After switching my major three times my first two years here at TCNJ, hopping from a biology major to Spanish elementary education and now finally to business management, I feel like I finally have my life back on track,” Schulze said. 

He also emphasized that while grades are important, college is all about self-discovery.

“Try out new things, make friends as often as you can and study as hard as you can and don’t beat yourself up about that B- or that C+,” he continued. “As a freshman, you think you have so much time and then you realize you are now a senior and are being thrown out of the comfortable niche at a college campus and into the real world. It’s scary but also so exciting and exhilarating to be able to provide for myself and take advantage of the education and opportunities TCNJ has given me.”

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